If you've been watching the Big South standings (and if you haven't, please write us a 2,000-word essay why not), you may be wondering what this "Radford" is, why it's won 13 of 15 league games, and how you can get some for yourself. The Highlanders are on a seven-game streak and now lead the BSC by two games, and are a single victory away from clinching its best Big South season ever. Here's a big Belarusian reason why: Artsiom Parakhouski is our fourteenth Mid-Majority Baller of the Week for the 2008-09 season.
In his first year at Radford, Mr. Parakhouski has scored a team-leading 15.3 ppg, earned 13 double-doubles, and has climbed to 10th on the Division I rebound list with 10.9 per game. He also had quite a week as the Highlanders assumed full and absolute control of the league race. The 6-11, 260-lb. junior's week began with a 16-point, 18-rebound performance in a home OT win over Coastal Carolina
last Monday, followed by a stat-stuffing road trip over the weekend. His 16 points and 14 boards helped the Highlanders overcome
defending regular-season champs UNC Asheville, then he dropped 29 (on 9-for-11 shooting) on Charleston Southern last night
. And unlike most big men we know, he did it all without getting into foul trouble. Only four infractions over the whole week, and as a first-year player on a historically underperforming team, it's not like he's getting superstar treatment.
His is the story of a young man's strange, quixotic journey from Minsk to Montgomery county, a road that also includes a two-year stop at the College of Southern Idaho. He once grabbed 21 boards in 16 minutes there. He also played for Belarus' team in the Junior European Championships in 2007; the men's senior team from his home country hasn't made the Olympics in its decade-plus of independence; maybe he can help out with that someday and become a bigger star than Vitaly Scherbo. For now, congratulations, Artsiom, you're the Mid-Majority Baller of the Week.